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Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group

Defence Procurement Complaints Scheme

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Defence has a fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory procurement complaints handling procedure. Defence manages all procurement complaints under the Defence Procurement Complaints Scheme (DPCS). The DPCS incorporates Defence's statutory obligations under the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (the JR Act).

Defence seeks a mature relationship with Industry where each respects the others position and both commit to working towards mutually beneficial outcomes.

Issues arising during the tender process should, in the first instance, be managed in accordance with the clarification process outlined in the Conditions of Tender. Contractual disputes should be managed in accordance with the contract.

The information contained on this page relates to the process for submitting a complaint to Defence regarding a procurement process.

There are two types of procurement complaints that may be submitted:

  • A complaint regarding something that Defence proposes to do, or has done, during a procurement process, that does not satisfy the requirements for a JR Act complaint (a general complaint).;
  • A complaint under section 18 of the JR Act (a JR Act complaint).

JR Act Complaints

Who can make a JR Act complaint?

For the purposes of the JR Act, a supplier can submit a complaint. The JR Act defines a supplier as a person or a partnership of two or more persons that supplies or could supply goods or services.

What procurements does the JR Act apply to?

The JR Act does not apply to all procurements.

A JR Act complaint can only be submitted for a covered procurement. The following procurements are not considered covered procurements:

  • Procurements valued below the relevant procurement thresholds (specified in paragraph 9.7 of the CPRs);
  • Procurements from standing offers under panel arrangements;
  • Procurements that are exempt from Division 2 in accordance with Appendix A of the CPRs; and
  • Procurements where, under paragraph 2.6 of the CPRs, Defence has applied a measure determined to be necessary for the maintenance or restoration of international peace and security, to protect human health, for the protection of essential security interests, or to protect national treasures of artistic, historic or archaeological value.

All other procurements are considered covered procurements.

Which CPRs does the JR Act apply to?

The contravention of any of the following CPRs will be considered a breach of the relevant/specified CPRs for the purposes of the JR Act: 

Section

CPRs Paragraphs

Division 1

4. Value for money
Third-party procurement 4.18
5. Encouraging competition
Non-discrimination 5.4
7. Accountability and transparency in procurement
Records 7.2
Notifications to the market 7.10, 7.13 – 7.15
Providing information 7.16 – 7.17
Reporting arrangements 7.18, 7.20
9. Procurement method
Requirement to estimate value of procurement 9.3 – 9.6

Division 2

10. Additional Rules
Additional Rules 10.1 – 10.2
Conditions of limited tender 10.3 – 10.5
Request documentation 10.6 – 10.8
Specifications 10.9 – 10.13
Modification of evaluation criteria or specifications 10.14
Conditions for participation 10.15 – 10.19
Minimum time limits 10.20 – 10.27
Late submissions 10.28 – 10.31
Receipt and opening of submissions 10.32 – 10.34
Awarding contracts 10.35 – 10.36

General Complaint

A general complaint is a procurement complaint that does not satisfy the requirements for a JR Act complaint.

A general complaint can be made about any aspect of the procurement process and can relate to any procurement activity.

How do you lodge a complaint?

Suppliers should raise the complaint with Defence, in writing to procurement.complaints@defence.gov.au, immediately after becoming aware of an alleged breach of a relevant CPR, or upon forming a grievance or objection to something that Defence has done or proposed to do.

To assist in resolving the complaint in a timely manner, the written complaint should provide the following information.

Contact Details

Company Name
Address
Telephone Number
Email address
Name and contact details (email address and phone numbers) of who the procuring entity can contact regarding the complaint

Information on the Procurement

AusTender ID (ATM ID/CN ID/SON ID)
Estimated contract value (if known)
Product or service being procured
United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC)
Relevant times and dates (i.e. issuance of tender/tender closing/contract award)

Complaint

Detailed statement of all relevant events and facts in support of the complaint, including how the supplier is affected by the alleged breach
Relevant times and dates
Provisions of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules that have allegedly been breached (if this is a JR Act complaint)

Statement of form of relief requested

Remedy being sought

Attachments

Any other information which will be of benefit to resolve the complaint including any correspondence or other evidence

Where do I submit my complaint?

All JR Act complaints and all general complaints are to be emailed to the DPCS at: procurement.complaints@defence.gov.au

What happens once I have submitted a complaint?

Defence will determine if the complaint is a general complaint or a JR Act complaint. If additional information is required with regard to the complaint, the DCPS will contact the supplier to obtain the information.

If a supplier submits a complaint that is determined by Defence to be a JR Act complaint, the procurement will be suspended while the complaint is investigated. However, if a Public Interest Certificate (PIC) has been issued for that procurement, a suspension will not occur.

Where suppliers who will be affected by a suspension can be identified, Defence will advise those suppliers that the procurement has been suspended.

Defence will advise suppliers if a PIC has been issued for a particular procurement. The method by which suppliers will be informed of the issue of a PIC will depend on the method of procurement and the stage which the procurement is at. The Defence PIC notice page contains further information on the methods of notification.

All PICs that have been issued for Defence procurements are listed on th Defence PIC notice page.

How will your complaint be handled?

An investigation into the complaint will commence and on completion, the complainant will be advised of the findings. Defence will also seek to confirm if the complainant considers the complaint to be resolved or wishes to withdraw the complaint.

The complainant can notify Defence at any time that their complaint has been withdrawn or resolved.

Defence will engage with the complainant as far as practicable to resolve the complaint.